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Jobs with Equality

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Author Info

  • Kenworthy, Lane

    (Professor of Sociology and Political Science, University of Arizona)

Abstract

Economic and social shifts have led to rising income inequality in the world's affluent countries. This is worrisome for reasons of fairness and because inequality has adverse effects on other socioeconomic goods. Redistribution can help, but government revenues are threatened by globalization and population aging. A way out of this impasse is for countries to increase their employment rate. Increasing employment enlarges the tax base, allowing tax revenues to rise without an increase in tax rates; it also reduces welfare state costs by decreasing the amount of government benefits going to individuals and households. The question is: Can egalitarian institutions and policies be coupled with employment growth? For two decades conventional wisdom has held that the answer is no. In Jobs with Equality, Lane Kenworthy provides a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the experiences of rich nations since the late 1970s. This book examines the impact on employment of six key policies and institutions: wage levels at the low end of the labor market, employment protection regulations, government benefit generosity, taxes, skills, and women-friendly policies. The analysis includes twenty countries, with a focus on Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Kenworthy concludes that there is some indication of tradeoffs, but that they tend to be small in magnitude. There is no parsimonious set of policies and institutions that have been the key to good or bad employment performance. Instead, there are multiple paths to employment success. The comparative experience suggests reason for optimism about possibilities for a high-employment, high-equality society.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199550609 and published in 2008.

ISBN: 9780199550609
Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199550609.do
Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199550609

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Cited by:
  1. Marx, Ive & Nolan, Brian & Olivera, Javier, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bea Cantillon, 2010. "Disambiguating Lisbon. Growth, Employment and Social Inclusion in the Investment State," Working Papers 1007, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  3. Korpi, Walter & Ferrarini, Tommy & Englund, Stefan, 2011. "Women's Opportunities under Different Constellations of Family Policies in Western Countries: Inequality Tradeoffs Re-examined," Working Paper Series 2/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  4. John Schmitt, 2011. "Labor Market Policy in the Great Recession: Some Lessons from Denmark and Germany," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2011-12, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  5. Bea Cantillon & Natascha Van Mechelen & Olivier Pintelon & Aaron Van den Heede, 2012. "Household Work Intensity and the Adequacy of Social Protection in the EU," Working Papers 1204, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  6. Bea Cantillon, 2012. "GINI DP 52: Virtuous Cycles or Vicious Circles? The Need for an EU Agenda on Protection, Social Distribution and Investment," GINI Discussion Papers 52, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  7. Timothy J. Bartik, 2009. "Distributional Effects of Early Childhood Programs and Business Incentives and Their Implications for Policy," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 09-151, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  8. Ive Marx & Brian Nolan, 2012. "GINI DP 51: In-Work Poverty," GINI Discussion Papers 51, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  9. Natascha Van Mechelen & Sarah Marchal, 2013. "Trends and convergence of Europe’s minimum income schemes," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/11, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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